Thursday, May 26, 2016

What Would Life Be Like?



Hang on girlfriends!  We are going to the beach to escape ministry life.  I’ll be by to pick up anyone who is interested in joining me.  We are going to ditch our troubles and sink our toes into the warm, white sands.  We are going to let the breeze blow away the stress of life and allow the waves to sing to our souls.  Don’t forget your sunscreen.  Oh and don’t forget to toss in a bag of chocolate, because when girlfriends get together, calories don’t count.

Ok, so maybe we aren’t heading to the beach but I really wish we could.  I don’t know about you but it seems ministering to people is just getting harder every day.  It seems our husbands spend more time doing administration than they do preparing for sermons.  I also have found myself pulled in every direction possible. 

For the last two weekends, I have been at the church Friday, Saturday and Sunday preparing for and attending events plus attending meetings.  The first weekend our women’s ministry team, which I am part of, hosted a salad lunch for our ladies.  We had close to 200 women attend.  It was great but it was a lot of work and preparation for our team.  Then, last weekend the team hosted a reception following the memorial service for our pianist who had served faithfully for many years.  Our church wanted to show its appreciation for her life and service.  After church on Sunday evening, I collapsed into bed exhausted and told my husband that I resign from ministry.

Well, we all know we can’t just resign unless God leads in that direction.  I do wonder at times what life would be like.  Would life be slower and calmer?  Would we travel?  Would we be bored sitting at home not doing ministry?  Seriously, what would our lives be like if we weren’t following God’s call on our lives?

I guess for now I will just dream of sitting in my beach chair on some gorgeous island.  I will dream of no phone calls in the middle of the night, no meetings that last all Sunday afternoon, and no big events that take up my time on the weekends.  I can dream of spending some quiet, unrushed time talking to the Lord.  However, I can tell you this.  After a few days of R & R, I am ready to be back doing what God has called us to do-loving the lost and leading them to the Savior.




Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Investing




A couple of weeks ago I took my three-year-old grandson, Gideon, to his preschool.  On the way, we stopped by a local park that has a beautiful lake.  Gideon is fascinated with wildlife so we always go hunting for turtles, fish, and ducks.  As we walked around the pond, Gideon squealed with delight when he spotted an aging turtle sunning himself on the banks.  Of course, the turtle splashed back into the pond when he spied Gideon  running up to it and me trying to catch Gideon before he jumped in after the turtle.  Thankfully Gideon stopped just short of the pond, bent over, and watched the turtle swim around below him.  As I reached the water’s edge, Gideon looked up and said, “Vivi, see all the fish swimming with Mr. Turtle?”  Sure enough there were tiny fish gliding through the muddy water.  Had I not looked closing I would have missed the scene.



Later that morning I picked up Gideon’s brother, ten month old Jude, and we set out on our own adventure.  I am introducing Jude to nature as well.  Now for a ten month old, the world is pack full of “new” things.  Birds tweeting, a breeze on your face, a dandelion, geese, and rocks all hold his attention.  I am amazed every time I take Jude outdoors at what his little eyes and ears notice.  I find myself paying closer attention as well.



However, there is one point I want to make today.  Sure, we should take time to notice our world around us but are we investing in our world.



Our world tells that we should invest in the stock markets in order to have financial security.  People put a portion of their salaries into IRAs or some other form of savings plan for the future.  However, I believe we need to invest our time in relationships too.



Right now my investment is in my time spent with my grandsons.  We giggle together, give hugs and kisses, play and go on “ventures” and discover what God has given us.  It is my hope that one day when they are grown that they will look back and remember that Vivi took time to love them and teach them about Jesus.



As ministers’ wives we too need to invest in people.  Yes, it is hard sometimes to build relationships with people in our church.  They can hurt us.  However, if we are truly called to ministry, we must spend time with people one on one. 



I have been in many relationships where I was “investing” my time and energy.  Things seemed to really be progressing until a bump in the relationship occurs.  BAM!  There is a breech-harsh words, personal issues, mistrust, a move, etc.  The relationship takes a hit and I must decide what to do. 



As for me, I try to discover ways to mend and rebuild.  I hate broken relationships.  They hurt my heart and cause me to question what I could do better.  Just like when the stock market takes a hit and it takes time to recover and rebuild, the same is true in relationships.  It may only take a couple of days and some forgiveness and the relationship is back on track.  However, and sadly, sometimes broken relationships never mend.  This has happened to me even though I have tried to restore the connection. 



Investments in ministry are sometimes very successful and at other times we must accept the fact that some investments never pay off.  However, we must keep trying.  We must keep investing our lives in to people around us.  I think Jesus had some successes and some failures.  I think of Peter who denied Jesus three times.  Talk about a bump in that relationship investment.  Yet, Jesus and Peter restored that connection and Peter became a great leader in Christianity.  Then there is Judas who betrayed Jesus.  Look at the time and energy Jesus poured into his life only to be disappointed.  Judas used Jesus for his benefit.  He gained thirty pieces of silver and lost eternity.  What a waste!



Ladies, I want to encourage to be intentional about making investments in people’s lives.  Yes, there will be some failures, however, think about the eternal rewards for the successes.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Jamaica 2016

Earlier this week I wrote about reflections.

One of the beautiful things that I can reflect on is that the Lord, in His graciousness and kindness, is allowing me another opportunity to go on a mission trip to share Christ with others.

As I write, I am only two weeks away from traveling to Linstead, Jamaica to serve the Lord in sharing his Word, in sharing the love of Christ with others, and in encouraging any and every one that He allows to come across my path.

This year I am excited that, from our church, there are three individuals going who have never been on a mission trip before. How awesome that they will get the opportunity to experience mission work in another country. I am excited for them and what the Lord will do in their lives!

My sisters, please join me in praying that Christ will be exalted, honored, and gloried by all that He will have us to do in Jamaica. Please pray that the Lord will give us safe travel in the air and on the ground as we go on mission for Him. Also, please pray that many souls will come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

This is my fourth trip to Jamaica, and I am looking for the Lord to bless me as He has so faithfully done in the past.

In my blog next month, Lord willing, I will share what the Lord did through our team (there are over 40 of us going!).

To God Be the Glory for what He will do in Jamaica!!!

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Acts 1:8

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Reflections

This time of year is jammed pack with lots of school related activities: exams, end of the year parties and celebrations, trips, proms, promotions, and ending in greatly anticipated graduation ceremonies!

In the midst of this frenzy of activity, students and parents have different reflections at year end. For the student, relief from months or years of studying, homework, tests, and putting up with teachers (some they like and some they don’t); yet also sadness from saying goodbye to friends and teammates, the “fun” extracurricular activities such as clubs and sports, and also, having to leave those teachers and administrators that really made a positive impact on their lives.

For the parents, there is relief from making sure everyone gets out of the house on time, packing lunches, helping with homework, listening to kids whine about all the homework and all the tests, having to meet with teachers, (again, some you like, some you don’t), running here and there from dance class to sports practice to games to PTA meetings, etc. Also, for parents, there is a sense of sadness as, year after year, they watch their precious children get a little closer to young adulthood, to someday having them “leave the nest” for good. It all goes by in a flash; it’s hard to believe that my youngest daughter will be a sophomore in high school next year, and in three more years there is graduation and college. Where does the time go?

By the time you read this blog, I will have already been to two graduations, and invited to others that I will not be able to attend because of scheduling conflicts. But end of year activities such as these cause me to reflect, on the past with its joys and sorrows, and also on the future, anticipating what is to come.

Reflections are good as we ponder the things and events of the past. As I reflect, it can also lead to meditation. And meditation can lead to getting God’s perspective on the various situations in our lives.

This past Sunday, my husband preached a message on meditating on the Lord, His Word, His creation, and His wonders. It makes you think: How often do we really stop and think about the awesomeness and vastness of our God, truly reflecting on who His is and how He intricately oversees all the events of our lives to the most minute detail, even knowing the number of hairs on our head! What a marvelous thought that we have a Savior who cares so deeply about us and loves us so passionately that He gave up His very life so that we could come to know Him and have intimate fellowship with Him throughout all eternity!

We will never plumb the depths of all that God is, but it’s good to stop and think about what a great Father we have, what a loving Savior we serve.

So as we get a little reflective at this time of year, as we see our kids, family, and friends transition from one season of life to another, may we use this time as a reminder to reflect on the One who….”is before all things, and in HIM [emphasis mine] all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Someone's Watching YOU

Someone is watching YOU!

Dwight Moody once said that out of 100 men, only one will read the Bible.......the other 99 will read a person.


Sooooooo TRUE!!!

I can promise you that at least one person is WATCHING YOU.  Your job is to make sure the your life "COUNTS" and is not a hindrance in leading others to His kingdom. 

How can we do that?  By Spending Time with Jesus.  When we spend time with HIM, it draws us closer to Him and does not allow room for Satan to tear us apart.

How can we spend time with Him?  Daily Quiet Time.  Spending time in SCRIPTURES and in PRAYER.

  • Daily Devotions, whether a Book Study, or Chapter-to-Chapter Study or 365 Daily Devos.
  • Journals - written and pictures.
  • Memorizing Scriptures.
  • Worshiping Him in Music.
  • "War Room" Prayer Time.
However YOU choose to do it.......make it a Priority to SPEND TIME WITH JESUS!

Make Your Witness Count.........YOU are someone's ONLY Bible.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

"Cry.....I spank you and put you in corner."

My grandchildren are 3 years old and 2 years old.  Already....at this young age, their personalities shine.  They are complete opposites.

We took them out on the boat fishing.  Cameron, our grandson was busy throwing his rod and reel into the water and reeling it in.  Kinley, our granddaughter was sitting in my lap playing.  She would pretend "spank" me just to get a reaction.  I would pretend to cry and she would laugh.

After a few minutes of this playing, she "spanked" me again and Cameron saw it.  He laid his rod and reel down and walked down the steps to me, where he rubbed my arm, kissed it and told Kinley, "Don't you hit Mimi again."

Then Kinley reached and "spanked" me again.  When I pretended to cry, she looked at me and said, "Cry and I spank you and put you in corner."

Different as daylight and dark. 
  • One is VERY compassionate
  • One has a "you made your bed so now lay in it" attitude.

CONFESSION 101:
 know that as a teacher and as a pastor's wife, I SHOULD be a Cameron and be compassionate and console people.  But, in all honesty, there are days that although I attempt to be a "Cameron" my heart is truly longing to be a Kinley and just tell them what I really think.

Do you ever want to just be a "Kinley"?  Am I the ONLY one?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

GiveHIM Project

God has convicted Roger and I and two other couples and led us to begin the GiveHim Project.  I would like to share this with you so that you can be PRAYING.




Our prayers are that Project GiveHIM Tennessee will spread throughout this state to raise awareness that Christians must  realize the urgency of spreading the Gospel and begin reaching souls for Jesus Christ, or thousands of precious people will die and spend eternity in hell.
100% of all profits will go towards promoting this awareness and reaching the lost through community revivals, etc.
Tennessee is currently growing at a rate of 50,000 people per year. Tennessee also has approximately 3.5 million lost people in our state, people who have no affiliation with any Church in our great state.
 In order to reach the lost, we as Tennessee Baptists will need to reach over 50,000 persons per year just to keep up with our growth rate.

The goal of Project GiveHIM Tennessee is to raise awareness that we as Baptists in Tennessee have a monumental task before us in reaching lost souls for Jesus.

The GiveHim™ Project is a call to action for Christians to turn their homes, communities, cities, counties, and states over to Jesus. We have come to the conclusion that God calls our first mission field to be our homes, then grow out from there. Our goal is to bring revival to our lives and the world through community outreach. 
The first step in this project is GiveHim™ Tennessee. Our initial goals are to see 2,500 lives saved, 10 community revivals, and 20 churches revitalized all across the state of Tennessee. We will host our first community revival in Rockwood, TN on June 10-12. If you are interested in joining us in this endeavor, or hosting a revival in your community, please contact us so you can join the movement!
Whites Creek Baptist Church
P.O. Box 715
Rockwood, TN  37854
Pastor:  Bro. Roger Britton
(423) 322-0176
 www.giveHIMTennessee.com

Tee Shirts may be ordered by going to the website.  ALL of the money goes to help make these revivals possible.

PRAYERS PLEASE...